The ER welcomes the "Rock Doc" and emmy winner Ray Liotta!
Nathan B. Blake | Kirkland, IL USA | 03/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, Warner Bros. seems to have sped up their release of ER seasons on DVD!
Season 11 includes Ray Liotta's emmy winning tour de force in "Time of Death", a real time episode following the final 43 minutes of his character's life. Alex Kingston, Ming Na and Noah Wyle exit County General. Other guest stars include Red Buttons, Danny Glover, Cynthia Nixon, Francis Fisher and Sharif Atkins.
Season 11 of ER includes some of the series' most memorable patient storylines. New doc Ray Barnett (Shane West) juggles medicine and music,
Sam and Luka continue their turbulent relationship, and Corday is punished for performing an illegal operation. There is much to like about season 11, so why only four stars?
While season 11 is very good, certain episodes leave something to be desired. Having Sharif Atkins return as Dr. Gallant was a good idea, but
actually having an episode take place in Iraq made the show wander too far from County General. I liked the Gallant-Neela-Iraq storyline, but
if I wanted to watched Baghdad ER, I would. Also, Carter unfortunately ends up with Kem. Some people like her, others don't. I think she's O.K., but nothing more. And the so-called cliffhanger with Sam's son at the end of the season didn't have me on the edge of my seat, and only led to a dull season 12 premiere.
Now that I got all that outta the way, I can say that the rest of the stories, performances and medical cases are top notch ER. I'm looking forward to July 14th!
Better that you check out of the ER for a year rather than c
Hombre Divertido | www.maskedmoviesnobs.com | 07/28/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"ER: Season Eleven
On July fourteenth Warner Home Video released season eleven of this immensely popular series ER, and though season eleven marks the last for popular regulars Ming Na as Dr. Jing Mei "Deb" Chen, Alex Kingston as Dr. Elizabeth Corday, Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis, and Noah Wylie as Dr. John Carter, their respective exits were anticlimactic at best, if even acknowledged at all. This season certainly represented a changing of the guard, unfortunately, with writing that took a step down from season ten, and one dimensional performances, said guard changing came a season too late.
Season Eleven was one of conflict. Some in the relationships within the show, but more so in the factions that existed within the cast and writers. Attempts to write stories for the cast members that had been with the show longer yielded poor results, and simply not enough storylines were given to burgeoning stars such as Shane West as Dr. Ray Barnett and Scott Grimes as Dr. Archie Morris. The performance of Grimes on ER would prove to be under appreciated throughout his tenure on the show, as he brought a comedic element to the show worthy of The Office, long before it was a hit.
In season twelve, the writers would set things right as more storylines are dedicated to the people the fans want to see, and storylines such as the relationship between Luka (Goran Visnjic) and Sam (Linda Cardellini) are done away with in favor of those less annoying such as Luka and Abby (Maura Tierney). Nonetheless, much awkwardness is endured throughout season eleven.
Quality guest appearances are also few and far between in season eleven, and though Ray Liotta garnered an Emmy for his performance in Episode six "Time of Death", it was the writing and directing worthy of awards more than the limited performance of Liotta. Legendary actor Red Buttons gives a superior performance as Jules "Ruby" Rubadoux the husband of a former patient of a young Dr. Carter, who is now in the ER as a patient and wants nothing to do with the Doctor that he believes killed his wife. Cynthia Nixon gives a fine performance as a stroke victim in episode fifteen "Alone in a Crowd". The writing in "Alone in a Crowd" is reminiscent and as innovative as an episode of MASH. We are also introduced to Charlie Pratt (Danny Glover), father of ER Doc Greg Pratt. Like much of the cast, Glover would have more opportunities to truly display his acting chops in season twelve.
Not much to be said of the performances of the regular cast member in season eleven, though Maura Tierney gives a credible performance when she is kidnapped in episode ten "Skin" which would have made a far superior season finale than that of "The Show Must Go On" in which we are left wondering what will become of Sam's runaway son Alex (Oliver Davis).
Where as previous releases have included Gag reels as part of the bonus material, season eleven only provides outpatient outtakes and unaired scenes, the majority of which were justifiably left on the cutting room floor.
Recommendation: Season eleven simply as not as good as season nine or twelve. There is probably enough here for the true fan, but little for those not truly hooked. Better that you check out of the ER for a year rather than checking out ER season eleven.
Not the best season of ER, but still has some good moments
Amanda | Dallas, Texas | 07/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the Emergency Room at Chicago's County General Hospital, ER is a gritty, heart-pounding glimpse of how brisk decisions can save lives -and how one mistake can prove fatal. The show launched George Clooney's career and featured a stellar cast that included Julianna Margulies, Laura Innes, Anthony Edwards, Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle, Sherry Stringfield, and others throughout the series' run. The combination of absorbing plot lines, compelling characters, top-notch performances, and realistic depictions of life in the ER attracted millions of fans each week. The eleventh season features more pulse-pounding medical incidents as well as significant lineup changes: long-time regular, Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle), decides to leave County General, and a new doctor, Ray Barnett (Shane West), enters it.
Season eleven opens with Pratt (Mekhi Phifer), Chen (Ming-Na), and Elgin (James Earl) being rescued after barely escaping a crash into the Chicago river (well...except for Elgin); two new interns, most notably, Dr. Ray Barnett (West), entering County General; and the once-nurse Abby beginning her career as a doctor. Much like past seasons, each episode features a collection of primarily episodic plot lines that revolve around each of the show's main characters.
Sadly, many of the episodes don't seem to have the kind of power and passion behind them that previous ones did, but, by far, "Time of Death" is the standout episode for the season. Unlike the traditional ER pattern, it consists of just one plot line with no side stories that takes place in real-time, chronicling the final 43 minutes of Charlie Metcalf's (Ray Liotta) life. Liotta plays an alcoholic on death's door who attempts to make amends with his son. His performance, which won a well-deserved Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, makes this episode come alive, sticking with viewers long after it's finished.
Other guest stars this season include Red Buttons, Danny Glover, Cynthia Nixon, Francis Fisher, Sharif Atkins, and others.
The rest of the cast does a phenomenal job with the material they are given. However, the biggest loss of the season is the end of Wyle's tenure as Dr. Carter. He will certainly be missed in future seasons of ER (even though he does make the occasional guest appearance).
The special features for season eleven follow the same trend as most of the previous seasons' boxed set - except this time there's no gag reel, only a collection of deleted scenes or "Outpatient Outtakes." Each tends to be really short and seems to add very little to the show overall, while this explains why the scenes were cut, it makes one wonder why they were even included at all other than to give hard-core fans the complete experience of the show. The episodes that feature deleted scenes are "One of the Road," "Damaged," "Try Carter," "Fear," "White Guy, Dark Hair," "A Shot in the Dark," "Skin," "Only Connect," "The Providers," "Middlemen," "Alone in the Crowd," "Here & There," "Back in the World," "Ruby Redux," and "You are Here."
From a technical aspect, ER has always looks great on DVD. Utilizing widescreen from the beginning, this show was originally transferred to DVD with an "open matte." As HDTV became more prevalent, the series switched to a widescreen presentation in both standard definition airings and HD reairings. This DVD set uses the 1.78:1 widescreen presentation, which allows for a very impressive TV-to-DVD transfer.
The audio for this release is a bit lacking at a 2.0 Dolby Digital English track. It is fine for the moments of dialogue during the show, but the loud, pulse-pounding, frantic emergency room scenes that the show is famous for don't quite pack enough audio punch. It just doesn't pull the viewer in as much as it should. Also included are English, French, Chinese and Portuguese subtitles.
Die-hard fans of the show will snatch this one up, but others may have trouble. While season eleven still features the same heart-pounding medical drama that ER is known for, many of the episodes leave something to be desired and just don't have as engaging plot lines as previous seasons. Long-time fans of the show may overlook this, but for casual fans or viewers who may not be familiar with the ER world, this just isn't the season to get started with."